manufacturers confirm the direction of the electric, the world of the occasion makes its entrance

In Lyon, the Motor Show this week resumed its quarters at Eurexpo, without a reduced format, after two years of pandemic. “Following the cancellation of the Brussels and Geneva shows, this is the first major European show of the year.“, rejoices Anne-Marie Baezner, director of the show.

From the 7th to the 11th of April, there are about one hundred exhibitors and the 45 brands that we usually find, more than 50,000 square meters of area, or even “a little more than in 2019.” In normal times, the show actually received around 60,000 visitors. It remains to be seen whether this goal will be achieved this year.

On the first day of the show, the audience already seemed to be back to normal. “We are happy to meet with customers and the competition. We are happy with the first public numbers and the booth is always full”observes Jacques-Edouard Daubresse, commercial director in France at the French automaker DS.

“The regional format is a balanced investment and allows us to highlight the hybrid and electric ranges. […] We received 90 orders in the previous edition and we hope to do more this year”, said Emmanuel Boca, Peugeot’s regional manager.

An event that also returns this year with two new features: vehicles displayed at the entrance now run on only hydrogen or electricity, and a used-vehicle market has even won a place for itself, inside the room, for the first time.

Featured electric and hybrid cars

As well as the vehicles displayed at the entrance, the fair’s exhibitors now present the most “clean” vehicles to visitors. An opportunity to surf a strong trend that has become even more pronounced in recent months, and also to convince the hesitant: “The electricity market has tripled since 2019“, confirms the director of the salon.

“We accelerated the electrification of the entire range two years ago and even started with Zoé ten years ago.“, reassigns Jean-Claude Coulmy, regional director at Renault. Electric and hybrid cars in fact represent 43% of the diamond maker’s sales, while they made only 23% in March 2021.

Proof of this great wind of change: 80% of the range present at the fair is now electrified”,It’s a big challenge, no one can lose. […] It is not yet possible to say what will be sold, but the interest of customers is clearly on this subject.“, observes the regional director.

Same note on DS: “There is a shift in consumer mindset and rising fuel prices acted as a trigger“, confirms Jacques-Edouard Daubresse.”At the beginning of the year, the electric DS3 Crossback represented 30% of sales, and in March it rose to 57%.

For Peugeot, the electric and hybrid range is also favored and represents up to 80% of the vehicles presented. “We receive many inquiries from the public and demand is strong. For example, in March, the 208, which is our best seller, was ordered with 60% electricity. Two years ago, this share was only 25% ” , observes Emmanuel Boca.

A phenomenon of acceleration towards electricity, which is also consistent with the arrival of ZFEs in major cities in France, including Lyon. A way of remembering that manufacturers are preparing for this and thus expanding their offerings accordingly, while a part The smooth mobility of scooters and bicycles is also now present at the fair, and will continue to grow in the coming year.

“The used car market has exploded”

Another phenomenon that has shaken the automotive market is the shortages seen in recent months, mainly in the semiconductor area, which considerably lengthened the time taken to purchase a new vehicle.

Consequently, “The used vehicle market exploded in 2021 and increased by 8%”, analyzes Anne-Marie Baezner. “There is the economic cause of the lack of stock of new vehicles, but there is also a structural cause, as the used vehicle has increased in quality.

“We have a card to play, given the deadlines for the new vehicle”, says Vincent Mourier, used vehicle manager at the Vulcain group. At the end of the first quarter of 2022, “We made more than 150 additional sales compared to 2021.” Same story at Spoticar, also present at the fair, sales targets were largely exceeded.

Even though this market also suffers from slow lead times at the end of the line:

“There is a good rotation, but there is no new delivery, so less exchange of used ones. There is a lack of material in the market. The rotation accelerated, before it was 80 days, now it is divided by two. Sellers have also become somewhat of a”, analyzes Vincent Mourier. In the electric or hybrid, the offer is still “quite anecdotal, but the demand is strong”.

At the fair, Vulcain occupied 2,000 square meters to present 120 used vehicles. “So we believe it! The goal is first out of curiosity.

About deadlines “we don’t have much visibility of the situation”

“When you place an order, there will necessarily be longer delivery times, but at this fair it is also the contact that counts. Vehicles are not necessarily sold at the fair, but later“, abounds Anne-Marie Baezner.

As for the precise deadlines, estimated between four months and a year depending on the model, the brands want to calm down at the fair. “Production suffers from supply shocks, but it is preserved and deadlines are under control”, defends the commercial director of DS.

Renault is thus presenting its 100% electric Megane e-tech at the fair”,customers were waiting for him“, Jean-Claude Coulmy.”We can deliver in September. In terms of manufacturing, we prioritize this new Megane as the expectation is very high.”

For delays of other Renault models, “We are doing the best we can, like everyone else. We are confident, but we have to wait for the situation to improve”, continues the regional director. “We don’t have much visibility on the situation“, abounds Emmanuel Boca from Peugeot.